Cameron Underwood says he has not received so many "looks or questions from strangers" since his face graft.
"I have a nose and a mouth so I can smile, talk and eat solid food," he says.
Cameron spoke two years after shooting himself in a suicide attempt in 201
He lost most of his nose 19659005 "I'm so thankful for a face transplant because it gives me a second chance," said the 26-year-old at a news conference in New York on Thursday.
"I have been able to draw on many activities that I love, such as being outdoors, doing sports and spending time with my friends and family.
" I hope to come back soon and work someday, to start a family. "
In January of this year, more than 100 medical staff performed a 25-hour operation on Cameron at the NYU's Langone Health Center in Manhattan, New York, and his recovery was announced this week.
The operation took place only 18 months after Cameron's suicide attempt – according to the Center, this is the shortest time between injury and surgery in US history.
Since the first facial transplant in 2005, more than 40 people have been performed worldwide.
The operation was Eduardo D. Rodriguez directed that, in addition to medical advances, Cameron's determination to survive made surgery a success.
"It's ultimately about the patient, Cameron did the work and made the necessary commitments," he says.
Cameron's transplantation was the third one. Rodriguez and he was told that the relatively short time in which Cameron had lived with his injuries was also a major factor in his recovery.
"Cameron has not lived with his injury a decade or more, like most other transplant recipients," he says.
"As a result, he has not had to deal with many long-term psychosocial issues that often lead to severe depression, drug abuse and other potentially harmful behaviors."
Doctor transplanted and reconstructed Cameron's maxilla and mandible, including all 32 teeth and gums.
The roof and bottom of his mouth, lower eyelids and nose were replaced, and his tongue had to be reconstructed.
The center says the operation was the most technologically advanced face transplant and was the first use of a 3D-printed donor face mask in the US.
"My son helps Cameron lead a better life"
The donor was 23-year-old Will Fisher, a chess champion, aspiring writer, and filmmaker.
"The death of my son was a tragedy," says Will's mother Sally.
In honor of his decision we could give life to others, and above all, that Will and Dr. Rodriguez Cameron and his family had the chance to regain their dreams.
"Being part of this experience was a source of power for me during a very difficult time."
"I do not think I would have survived Will's death unless Cameron had been. Cameron has his whole life ahead of him – and I love the idea that Willie helps him lead a better life. "
Cameron paid tribute to Will and the support of the Fisher family in his speech at the hospital's press conference. [Citation needed] 19659005] "I want Sally and her family to know how much my family and I appreciate their gift and I will always appreciate Will's legacy." He says.
"There are so many amazing advances in surgery. I am the proof of that. But it only happens because of special people like Will and his family. "
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